The Living Temple of Christ's Church and the Two Witnesses of the Word Written and the Sacraments
Revelation 11:1-19
And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar…

The temple and altar, and them that worshipped therein, were capable of measurement. They were not like the unorganised multitude, formless, creedless, undisciplined, without the court. The temple, the altar, and its priesthood and the worshippers, have strength of form and organisation, and the beauty of order. So the apostles organise the Church, set in order its worship, establish its discipline. Standing before the Incarnate Son of God, who in the spiritual organism of His temple, the Church, reveals Himself, and bearing their corroborating testimony to the faith are the two witnesses of the sacraments and the written Word.

1. Consider first the witness of the sacraments.

(1) They are the instrumental life-givers. For Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, is to the new creation what God, "Creation's secret force," is to the old.

(2) So likewise the sacraments enlighten. Baptism with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, declares the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity as the fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. It manifests our sinful condition and the need of a washing away of sin.

(3) The sacraments are witnesses. The Church, filled with sacramental life, bears witness to the world.

2. Turn we next to the other great witness, the written Word. The written Word self-evidences its own inspiration.

(Bp. Grafton.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

WEB: A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, "Rise, and measure God's temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it.

The Extent and Limit of the True Church of God
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